The Delhi High Court today sought reply of the Centre on a PIL seeking directions to the government to recruit married women law graduates in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) department of the Indian Army like similarly-placed men.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath issued notice to Ministry of Defence and the Armys Directorate General of Recruiting and sought their replies by August 10, saying the issue “requires consideration”.
The court directed the government to explain its stand with regard to issues raised in the petition which has contended that “at present, Judge Advocate General Department of Indian Army recruits males (married/unmarried) and females (only unmarried) for serving in the Indian Army.
“Due to this institutionalised discrimination, married female candidates who are law graduates are being deprived of their right to serve in JAG department of Indian Army,” the petition, by Kush Kalra, has claimed.
The petitioner has also said in his plea that “this discrimination on grounds of gender is violative of fundamental right of equality before law, right not to be discriminated on the ground of sex, equality of opportunity in matters of public employment, fundamental right to practice any profession and occupation and human rights of the women.”
The petition, filed through advocate Jyotika Kalra, has also sought that the eligibility conditions prohibiting the entry of married female candidates in the JAG department be declared unconstitutional.
The petition also states that aggrieved by “discrimination against females”, the petitioner had written a letter on September 19, 2015, to the Army requesting it to recruit married female candidates in the JAG department.
However, he had not received any reply the petition said.
It has also alleged “uneven distribution/allocation of seats for women” in recruitment into JAG as vacancies advertised for men were 10 and only four for women.